Taking Better Care of our Mental Health

Taking care of our mental health is important inside and outside the office. According to the National Health Survey 2017 – 2018, 1 in 5 Australians reported having mental health or behavioural condition. Here in New South Wales, 17.7% of adults 18-years of age and over “experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress” as per the estimation from the NSW Adult Population Health Survey in 2019. To this day, millions of people all over the globe are struggling with different mental health issues. That is why it is high time to better take care of our mental wellbeing and inspire others to do as well.

Here are some tips to start with.

Acknowledge the struggle.

The first step is to accept that you are struggling with mental health issues. Accepting your vulnerabilities makes you strong, not weak. There are those who suffer from anosognosia, a condition of being unaware of mental health conditions or are unable to perceive them. If you feel something is wrong, get help. Let’s put an end to “It’s all in your head.”

Get help. Talk to the right people.

There are several organisations both public and private at the ready to help you better understand mental health and learn how to conquer mental health issues. The MHFA (Mental Health Foundation Australia) is the oldest not-for-profit, non-government mental health organisation in the country. Last month, the MHFA launched its first ever Mental Health Appeal to raise awareness and take action in expanding mental health programs in the country. Thousands of people have donated money for the progress of this great initiative.

There is also Mental Health Australia, Way Ahead, Mind Australia and more. They offer a range of services centred on support groups and education. It is important to direct your questions to the right people.

Stay active physically and be mindful of self-care.

Exercising regularly can do wonders for your mental health. Simple workouts like jogging can help you relieve your stress and energise your body to take on the day. Be flexible, try yoga, meditation and whatever works best for you.

Maximise breaks.

Remember to always take time to re-energise and refocus. If you are getting overwhelmed, take it slow or even stop to take a breather. Never disregard the power of a good break, either a lunch break or a week off work. You can be productive when taking a rest.

Embrace mental health education.

As much as you can, learn anything you can about mental health that can help you better understand the different components and factors linked to it. Attend seminars (online and offline) and consume reading materials. Education institutes here in the country are encouraging people to learn more about mental health, especially the younger generation. According to a 2020 report about psychological distress by Mission Australia and Black Dog Institute, young people in Australia were five times less likely to ask or seek help with their psychological distress. This will then lead to them suffering from mental health issues on a greater level as they grow up.

That is why it is important to educate yourself and your loved ones about mental health. It might be challenging but it is important to promote the idea that mental health education should start at a young age.

Sleep’s sweet spot.

Getting enough sleep, mostly 8 hours can help you better manage your stress, feel more proactive, be more focused and better connect with others. According to a study by Dr Alex Agostini and Dr Stephanie Centofanti from the University of South Australia, “sleep is intrinsically linked to mental health, but is commonly overlooked  by health practitioners as a contributing factor.” As per the study, it is important to promote a healthy cycle of sleep, especially during an individual’s teenage years.  A good night’s sleep sets off a domino effect of positive turnouts. Get your sleep on.

Check on others.

You are not the only one struggling with mental health issues. Your colleague you sit next to might be struggling as well. The pandemic accelerates mental health issues, so it is more important than ever to check on your loved ones, friends, colleagues, etc. By sharing both your struggles you find courage from each other. Being sociable also helps.

Your mental health is important, never think otherwise. By taking care of yourself, you inspire others to do the same.

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